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St. Petersburg's BayWalk loses Atlanta Bread Co.

ST. PETERSBURG — Another BayWalk tenant is out.

Atlanta Bread Co., the bakery-cafe that has been St. Petersburg's unofficial political hub for nearly 10 years, closed Friday.

The decision came down to a dispute over rent, said Moe and Rhonda Jafari, who have operated the restaurant at 179 First Ave. N for the past three years. It opened in 2001 as part of the city's Mid Core garage project.

"We did everything in our power to try to renegotiate the lease," Rhonda Jafari said Saturday. "We were trying to save it."

The Jafaris were unable to reach a deal with landlord Fred Bullard Jr., who leases the spaces near the garage. Another company leases the spaces by BayWalk's movie theater.

Last month, Jafari filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa after Bullard said he was owed $170,000 in unpaid rent.

The cafe — with a large seating area and a private meeting room — was known as a place to find local elected leaders meeting over coffee or political candidates pondering their next move.

St. Petersburg's BayWalk loses Atlanta Bread Co. 02/13/10 [Last modified: Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:50pm]
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